Event at Wyboston tackles hate crime

Hate crime event at Wyboston
Hate crime event at Wyboston

A therapeutic campus in Wyboston has teamed up with police to educate the community about hate crime.

Milton Park Therapeutic Campus, which provides specialist support for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism, joined up with Bedfordshire Police to hold a Hate Crime Awareness Day on Friday, November 3.

The event, which was held to mark the final day of Hate Crime Awareness Week, was a joint initiative designed to educate both the people that Milton Park supports and the local community, about the issue of hate crime – including those crimes committed against people with learning disabilities and autism.

Sergeant James Hart, tactical lead for hate crime in Bedfordshire, delivered awareness training to the people supported at Milton Park. The message was that such action is important because people who have learning disabilities or autism may not always be aware that they have been the victim of a hate crime, and may find it difficult to seek help.

The awareness session was followed by a community event in which a police officer, a Milton Park staff member and a person supported by Milton Park, went door-to-door in the local area to deliver educational leaflets about hate crime.

Also present were representatives from the fire department and neighbourhood watch, with support provided by the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Gayle Woodcock, quality lead at the campus said: “Ensuring people with learning disabilities and autism, as well as the local community, understand the issues surrounding hate crime in the area is hugely important. Events such as this are a great step in educating the people we support about the help which is available to them should they need it, and also spreading the word that Bedfordshire will not tolerate hate crime in any shape or form.

“I would like to extend a huge thank you to Sergeant James Hart and Laura Hoggard, PCSO at Bedfordshire Police, who were instrumental in organising this event to raise awareness in the area.”

A patient at Milton Park Therapeutic Campus said: “The Hate Crime Awareness Event has built my confidence in the police force. I found the day inspiring and insightful – I learnt a lot. Myself and some of the officers went door-to-door and it was interesting to hear the community’s perception of Milton Park. I felt that these interactions ended positively.

Hate Crime is never the answer. Most of what I have been victim to is Hate Crime. The best thing to do is report it – I know I will be more likely to now. I can definitely see the difference that Bedford police are making in tackling Hate Crime.”

Milton Park Therapeutic Campus is part of Tracscare – a specialist provider of support for people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries.